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Dark Chords On A Big Guitar

September 9, 2003 | Format: MP3

$8.99
Also available in CD Format
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
1
4:35
30
2
4:33
30
3
5:15
30
4
2:31
30
5
4:44
30
6
4:01
30
7
5:19
30
8
4:40
30
9
3:28
30
10
5:13
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 9, 2003
  • Release Date: September 9, 2003
  • Label: KOCH Records
  • Copyright: (C) 2003 KOCH RECORDS
  • Total Length: 44:19
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000V9E09C
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #172,571 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By "nmiller3784" on September 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I must say that I was extremely sceptical when I heard that Joan Baez was going to release a new album. I knew that she had lost some of her vocal range, and modern productions have a tendency to diminish the impact of records by veteran artists.
However, while Baez's voice is not the same as it was in the 60s or 70s, it is much lower, huskier, and ultimately warmer and more accessible than ever before. The production, while definitely modern, fortunately never gets in the way of the material.
The album's strongest suit, however, is the songs themselves. Baez has always had a knack for finding great material from other artists, and all ten songs here are fantastic. She did not include any of her own compositions (she claims to have given up writing songs), but that is hardly missed at all. The writing, despite being the work of many different pens, is uniformly dark and ominous. However, many tracks are simultaneously sultry and exciting, which makes for a fine listen both the first time around and after repeated listenings. There is a folk-rock core to the songs, but over this is an interesting mixture of blues, jazz, and occasionally a fairly hard (for Baez) rock sound. This is one of her best albums, and certainly her most consistent. Not even Diamonds and Rust or Any Day Now had this depth of emotion or unity of texture.
Perhaps the most effective review I can give this album is this: I hope Baez puts out another album like this, and soon. Thanks, Joan!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By "georgem-uk" on September 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Like other Dark Chords reviewers I feel that Joan Baez is
choosing to use her voice in a particular way on this recording in a way that suits the music, the songs themselves and the times we are living in. It is a number of years since I heard Joan Baez sing live -1997, I think - when she sang "Matty Groves", from one of her earliest recordings in full soprano and faultlessly - all 22 verses! These songs on Dark Chords would not sound right sung in a high soprano voice: they are more earthy and I think Joan's treatment of them on this CD is no less than superb. To my ear this CD sounds as good - and at times as raw - as a live performance. It's true that Joan's voice is changing over time but she seems to be rising
wonderfully to the challenge of a new style suggested by the songs themselves. I feel, too, that her singing voice is now much closer than before to her speaking voice which always has to my mind been much deeper than her "achingly pure soprano" when singing. Her current singing style has a contemporary edge to it, which is likely to get more people listening to her work and more radio playing than was maybe the case previously. People I have played the CD to are using words like "mellow" and comment how well the voice and the band blend on most tracks. I was pleased to see Dark Chord listed on some website
under "Adult Contemporary". This recording seems to be leaning
towards commercial values without compromising the integrity of Joan, the main performer, or her beliefs. Joan Baez is back on the music scene (though for her die-hard fans she has always been there.) All this just to say that I like this CD very much!!! Go on, treat yourself! Buy Dark Chords on a Big Guitat and revel in the quality of a lovingly put-together piece of music craft!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on January 20, 2005
Format: Audio CD
My only complaint is recording quality. The selection of music and Baez's voice and arrangements is wonderful. This is a more rocked-out version of Baez than we are used to.

Among my favorites are "Sleeper" the opening song, a sensuous tale of lovers, "Caleb Meyer" a tale of a feisty woman fighting off a would-be rapist:

Caleb Meyer your ghost is goin

To wear those rattlin chains

WHen I go to sleep at night

Don't you call my name

I've been a fan of Baez for years and this is something of a departure from what you'll normally hear, but I think an enjoyable listen. Her voice and choice of music is always worthwhile.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Lee Armstrong HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Joan Baez's new CD is an incredible achievement, one of the year's best. Since the days when she was a major proponent of the works of Bob Dylan, she has had a knack for finding and recording some of our best songwriters. On "Dark Chords," she not only finds the right songwriters, but the right songs and surpasses the originals. Steve Earle's "Christmas in Washington" is a song that I never particularly liked in its original form. Joan embodies the song completely, inhabiting its spiritual and political implications. Duke McVinnie who has worked with Johnny Otis & J.J. Cale does a wonderful job with his dreamy guitar. On Natalie Merchant's "Motherland," Joan totally adopts the song finding levels of pathos that slept in Merchant's original fine recording, "The lust and the avarice, the bottomless, the cavernous greed, is that what you see?" Josh Ritter's "Golden Age of Radio" was one of the strongest CDs in recent years. Joan takes his "Wings" and creates a dreamy folk epic, "What makes the water holy she says is that it's the closest thing to rain." Greg Brown's "Rexroth's Daughter" is a marvelous folk tune that could have easily fit into some of Joan's earliest recordings with its themes of rape and retribution. Gillian Welch & David Rawlings' "Caleb Meyer" is about as raucous as Joan gets on this set with McVinnie's electric guitar churning ominously underneath the upbeat tempo. Caitlin Cary's "Rosemary Moore" is another great story song, a marvelous folk ballad. I suppose comparisons will ultimately be made to Emmylou Harris' "Wrecking Ball" with Dark Chord's somber themes and churning guitars.Read more ›
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